At the age of forty-seven, Roy Oswald has already endured more career shifts than many people do in a lifetime.
A Lutheran pastor for four years in Kingston, Ontario, he then became a denominational youth worker in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1966. From there he became a synod executive, working in leadership development.
After personal crises cost him his marriage and his job, he accepted a position as director of training at the Metropolitan Ecumenical Training Center in Washington, D.C., where the spiritual guidance of executive director Tilden Edwards helped Oswald rebuild his life.
Since 1977, Oswald has been director of training and field studies at Washington's Alban Institute, which provides resources for clergy and congregations. Not only does he know the upheaval of transition personally, but it's now the object of his professional research.
LEADERSHIP editors Marshall Shelley and Dean Merrill asked him to map out the pastor's passages.1